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Spain: a draw isn’t good enough

Coach Vicente del Bosque of the Spanish national team stated that they have no intention of playing for the 2-2 draw against Croatia on Monday. The current standings would mean that a draw on Monday sends both sides through to the quarterfinals, automatically eliminating groupmates Italy, regardless if they get a victory against the Irish.

This already happened on the Euro 2004, when Italy was also eliminated in similar circumstances after a 2-2 draw between Sweden and Denmark sent both teams through from their group and the Italians sent home.

"We are sportsmen and both the Croats and us will go out to win," Del Bosque told a news conference after his side's impressive performance against the Irish in Gdansk on Thursday

Spain, as the defending Euro champions, isn’t just in this for a sure qualification, but they are here to win.

"I have not made any calculations and we should be interested only in victory," Del Bosque added.

Spain and Croatia have four points each from two matches, with Italy on two and Ireland on zero. Surely, this reminds us of 2004 again, and the Italians don’t want that by all means.

With Spain as defending champions, and currently performing well, Steve McManaman believes that if Spain dominates the Euro 2012 they must be considered the greatest international team in history.

The Brazil squad of 1970 is widely regarded by popular knowledge as the best team of all time but the former England international thinks La Roja will grab the honor from them if they get the title.

“If Spain win Euro 2012 they will be better than Brazil in 1970 and all of the other [international] teams in history,” he told ESPN.

McManaman went on, saying that he is optimistic that Spain striker Fernando Torres steps up in his game.

“I hope he returns to his best as he has great quality,” he added.

“You need confidence to score. Against Italy he played well, but did not finish the job. But he recovered well against Ireland.”

What do you think?